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UPDATE: IndieWire reports that The Weinstein Company picked up The Tillman Story today. The company has been the frontrunner to buy the film for the past week. Original article follows.

Purchases at Sundance didn’t come fast and furious this year — do they ever anymore? — but in the wake of the festival a few high-profile films have been fairly swift to land distribution deals. The docs Catfish and Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work have both secured distribution in the US. A few other films will probably be picked up soon: The Tillman Story, Animal Kingdom and Welcome to the Rileys are all close to having deals, but for now we’ll focus on the two docs. Read More »

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“Dad bet my NYU tuition on The Road and now we’re homeless.” The concept of organized box office betting is nothing new—see the simulated and long operating Hollywood Stock Exchange. But with the incorporation of real dollars, might the concept be new to the mafia? A start-up website and business called The Cantor Exchange is awaiting regulatory approval to open the floodgates on real time betting on Hollywood productions, beginning six months before a film’s release. The company behind the Cantor Exchange is Cantor Fitzgerald, a global finances firm that also operates the aforementioned HSX and will implement that site’s infrastructure with a capitalistic twist.

Information gathered by the HSX reportedly already informs legitimate box office betting in the UK, and foreseeably anyone of age in the U.S. will soon be able to participate. But what are the implications of online betting for Hollywood (Showbiz 411 wonders about insider trading), not to mention for the state of film? And c’mon, what geek or arm chair analyst isn’t channeling Gordon Scrooge McDuck Gekko IV right now with dreams of getting paid, bitch? Right? Or Wrong?

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Depending upon how closely you pay attention to producer credits, you may or may not know the name Ryan Kavanaugh. You’ve definitely seen it on a large number of films, thanks to the financing his company Relativity Media, LLC provides to many projects. Kavanaugh, only 34, won ‘producer of the year’ at the Hollywood Film Festival last month, and may become the new model of a Hollywood producer. With a focus on computer models of financial liabilities and returns, he wants to create a purely data-driven system for greenlighting movies.

Some of his ideas make him sound like a pure enemy of the movies I love, while others make so much sense I can’t believe they’re not already implemented at every studio. This approach worked for baseball, though the ‘Moneyball’ angle angered die-hard fans. Can it work for movies? Read More »

Casting For The Crow Remake Underway

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Casting is underway for the next theatrical iteration of The Crow, and the actor chosen will face the still-daunting task of walking in the late Brandon Lee‘s Goth-approved footsteps. Last month, I reported on an update of the script written by Blade director Stephen Norrington, and today brings an update from producer Ryan Kavanaugh (Brothers, Nine). So, what guy will be chosen—re: a female Crow is not being considered—to reprise the role of an undead rock musician who wreaks havoc on mortal goons? Let us know what you think of Kavanaugh’s comments and leave your own below.

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